Councillors back residents in fight for safety measures on Fife road

Heavily criticised plans to put speed bumps on a B-road have been refused by Fife councillors who say the measure would be ineffective.

By Jon Brady, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Friday, 20th August 2021, 5:00 am

Council road bosses wanted to introduce a series of cushions on a 600m stretch of the B981 between Cluny and Cardenden, starting from the mini-roundabout junction with the B922 at Cluny.

However elected members sided with residents who felt that anything short of full-width "speed tables" would be ineffective, despite officers' objections that they would be too expensive.

Cowdenbeath area convener Cllr Linda Erskine said: “I think lives are worth more than any costs.

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"I want speed tables to be looked at. I've walked that road with friends and my mother lives on the other side - and what the proposals are won't make a jot of a difference."

The Cluny to Cardenden road has been the site of several accidents in recent years, including a fatality in 2014 in which a 36-year-old man died.

Residents contest that speed humps would do little to slow down motorbikes, which can weave between the cushions, or buses, heavy goods vehicles and modern 4x4s with suspension that soaks up smaller bumps.

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Full-width speed tables, often painted with zebra crossings, require vehicles of all kinds to slow down.

Ken Gourlay, head of transportation, said full-width bumps are too expensive to justify while roads technician, Keith Johnston, said drivers were "struggling" to keep their speed below the existing limit of 30mph.

However, they were unable to convince councillors of their plans.

Lochgelly, Cardenden and Benarty Labour Cllr Mary Lockhart said: "I watched several 4x4s racing down the road and they have no problem driving over a raised cushion."

Her SNP ward-mate Cllr Rosemary Liewald added: "I've seen the speed at which we have drivers coming through that road and it terrifies the residents in and around the area."

Cllr Erskine noted that residents, while keen to see measures introduced, were not convinced of the merits of cushions.

"I've known people who have lost their lives there and people who find cars in their hedges and gardens regularly," she noted.

Officers agreed to the Cowdenbeath area committee's recommendation to reconsider the proposals.

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